She Thinks His Name Was John

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"She Thinks His Name Was John"
Single by Reba McEntire
from the album Read My Mind
B-side "I Wish That I Could Tell You"[1]
Released July 30, 1994 (1994-07-30)
Format CD single
Recorded 1994
Genre Country
Length 4:22
Label MCA
Writer(s) Sandy Knox
Steve Rosen
Producer(s) Tony Brown
Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire singles chronology
"Why Haven't I Heard from You"
"She Thinks His Name Was John"
"Till You Love Me"

"She Thinks His Name Was John" is a song written by Sandy Knox and Steve Rosen, and recorded by American country music artist Reba McEntire. It was released in July 1994 as the second single from her album Read My Mind. Upon its release, the song gained media attention and controversy for its storyline, regarding a woman who was dying from AIDS.[2]


"She Thinks His Name Was John" tells the story of a woman who is dying from AIDS,[3][4] which she acquired after becoming intoxicated and having a one-night stand with a man whom she did not previously know. The song recounts how, upon learning she had contracted AIDS, her struggles to remember the man with whom she had her affair, her crying herself to sleep over dreams and life's milestones she will never experience (such as marriage and motherhood), and former friends pitying her due to her decisions that led to her illness.

Sandy Knox, one of the song's writers, was inspired to write "She Thinks His Name Was John" after losing her brother to the disease.[5][6] The song was released as a single after several radio stations began playing it as an album cut.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[8] 11
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[9] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 15


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (August 2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 271. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  2. ^ Henley, Dennis (2005-12-06). "Reba McEntire". The Advocate. Retrieved 2007-08-11. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Reba McEntire: Read My Mind". Archived from the original on 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  4. ^ "Music and AIDS". 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  5. ^ Morris, Edward. "Ten Years Later, "John" Remains Country's Prime Comment on AIDS". Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  6. ^ Smith, Christopher (Jan–Feb 1999). "DIY Artist Spotlight". The Performing Songwriter. Archived from the original on 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  7. ^ Zimmerman, David. "Radio's rave reception for Reba's angle on AIDS". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  8. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2632." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. October 24, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  9. ^ "Billboard Chart Search (Artist=Reba McEntire / Title=She Things His Name Was John)". Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Reba McEntire – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Reba McEntire. Retrieved November 29, 2013.